How the Universe was Formed

UPDATED: Thursday, February 1, 2007 14:20
VIEWED: 1884
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Thursday, February 1, 2007 7:59 AM


Perhaps this is a silly question, but I got players, both online and FTF that want to see how the planets are arranged. Their planning several heists and they always want to know what planet is closer, or how long it takes to get from here or there. Even a general answer requires some frame of reference.

The movie showed the planets arranged spiral-fashion, like out own system. (The scene in River's classroom) though that could have been a stylistic view, for whatever reason.

The RPG, well, I can't make heads or tales of it. It's been said that Earth found a (one) system to inhabit, with dozens of planets and hundreds of moons. but the RPG shows several systems.

Anyone have ideas, pics, comment on how this is arranged? Or how you deal with it in your game?

"They don't like it when you shoot them. I figured that out myself." ---Mal (War Stories)


Thursday, February 1, 2007 9:14 AM


It's definitely not a silly question gorramgirl. It's one that's come up a couple of times in my time here and it's always debated. Whether the verse is one system or not has, as far as I'm aware never really been laid to rest so I can't really tell you what's correct. I'd say your best bet is to pick a style you prefer and that will be easiest to use and go with that. I can, however give you two pretty good examples of the conflicting designs. user Hans has created lots of "one system" maps
(link to the latest one in the BSR [other versions can be found in his profile])

Another person on here (who's name, sadly, I can't remember) made a really nice "multi system in one giant system" series of maps

(This being the main map but there are 5 more detailing each individual mini system [Georgia etc.] which i can also post if you'd like)

personally I like the multi-system approach but like I said pick the one you prefer or whichever works better for the sake of the rpg. Hope this helps!


Thursday, February 1, 2007 2:20 PM


No one ought to mistake space opera for hard science fiction, but...

It's hard to figure how either can be viable. If you told me there was a system with dozens of planets and hundreds of moons, many of which could be terraformed, I'd say it'd have to be in a multiple star system, with a bunch of planets orbiting each star. Trouble is, for those planetary orbits to be stable, the distance between the stars would have to be large compared to the sizes of their planetary systems -- I'd guess at least a few light days apart. And given that they evidently can't travel at near light speed in the 'Verse (from what was said about the colonization, and from the fact that there's no evidence seen of any time dilation effects going on), that means it'd take too long to go from planets in one system to planets in another to be consistent with the times talked about in the series.

So it seems as if it has to be a single star system, and maybe you can argue we don't know enough yet about planetary system formation to rule out one with dozens of worlds at a distance where they could be made habitable, but I find that hard to swallow. If there are "dozens of planets and hundreds of moons" that sort of implies a dozen or so moons per planet on average, and I'd say that means a lot of the planets would have to be gas giants. Gas giants sweep out a lot of space -- like the whole region between Jupiter and Saturn, for instance. So fitting dozens of gas giants into a system, at a distance where their moons could be made habitable, doesn't seem likely.

Still, I personally lean in favor of the single star system theory, partly because the teacher's map seems to show that (you could argue it was zoomed in on the planetary system of only one star of a multi-star system, of course) and partly because it's at least internally sort of consistent while the multi-star theory seems, as I said, inconsistent with the travel times mentioned in the series.






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